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Social Movements and Policy Implementation: The Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty, 1965 to 1971

Kenneth T. Andrews
American Sociological Review
Vol. 66, No. 1 (Feb., 2001), pp. 71-95
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657394
Page Count: 25
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Social Movements and Policy Implementation: The Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty, 1965 to 1971
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Abstract

This study of the Mississippi civil rights movement and the War on Poverty examines the relationship between social movements and policy implementation. A "movement infrastructure" model is developed that focuses on organizational structure, resources, and leadership to account for the impact of social movements on policy implementation. A two-tiered research design is employed that includes (1) a quantitative analysis of poverty programs in Mississippi counties from 1965 to 1971, and (2) case studies that show the complex interaction between the civil rights movement, resistance by whites, local powerholders, and federal agencies. The quantitative analysis shows that counties with strong movement infrastructures generated greater funding for Community Action Programs. The case studies show that movements were excluded from the initial formation of these programs as local whites attempted to preempt civil rights activists. However, in counties with strong movement infrastructures, activists were able to gain access to decision-making bodies and shape the content of poverty programs.

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